And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Thus said Jesus Christ himself in Luke 9:23 of the Bible, and if the Good Book is to believed....then figure skating must be the world's holiest sport.
Indeed, nary a sport can boast a similar proliferation of crucifixes proudly displayed by participants. Such dedication to displaying the Christian symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and eternal salvation from the world and its ungodly ways can be found displayed loud and proud:
|Pasha Grishuk and Evgeni Platov, 1998 Olympic champions in ice dance|
Or small but intimately close to the heart:
|Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, 2011 World silver medalists in pair skating|
This proud expression of love, respect and service to Jesus Christ is also not limited to a few particular countries. Indeed, figure skaters who choose to openly declare Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior can be found from God-fearing countries such as the United States of America:
|Evan Lysacek, 2010 Olympic champion in men's skating|
|Miki Ando, 2007 and 2011 World Champion in ladies' skating|
But declarations of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Personal Savior are not limited to mere displays of crosses alone in figure skating. Indeed, figure skaters such as Johnny Weir have been using their influence and status in the sport in order to spread the Gospel in unorthodox ways that go beyond traditional missionary work. Although Mr. Weir has hardly been averse to proudly displaying his faith on his sleeve (or more accurately in this case, his chest):
...Mr. Weir has also endeavored to bring the Word of God to the hearts and minds of millions through his performances on the ice. In his storied career, Mr. Weir has engaged in valuable and highly visible missionary work with programs that have portrayed the life of Jesus Christ:
...as well as the story of Lucifer's rebellion in heaven and the fall of his angels as described in the Books of Isaiah and Ezekiel:
Mr. Weir is hardly alone in his missionary work. Other skaters have also decided to use their sport as a vehicle to not only communicate Bible stories to the public, but also to reinforce pure and simple Christian values in an increasingly corrupt and depraved society. The most prominent example in this regard is the Olympic-winning free dance of Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, a program in which they espouse both the sanctity of traditional marriage and the pleasure of romance free of lascivious lusts and other prurient innuendos:
"Figure skating is indeed a good sport for impressionable young children to look to in their search for good role models," said Dr. Michael Backman of Focus on Faith, a Poughkeepsie-based Christian think-tank and advocacy group. "Unlike many pop and movie stars that are seen as role models, figure skaters are not scantily clad but dress modestly, and they also do not engage in sexually suggestive movements or behavior when performing. Overall, the sport is a refreshingly honest and fair one that should appeal to all who wish to avoid eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire."